T'Towners: Better Off Dead?

24 Oct 2012
By Ahlanlive.com

From Michael Jackson to Kurt Cobain, this lot were minted when they were alive but they’ve done even better since they popped their clogs. Afterlife earnings rock!

Michael Jackson
Died: 25 June 2009
Age: 50
Cause: Overdose
Earned since death: Dhs625 million

Jacko’s own publishing company, Mijac Music, adds millions to his afterlife salary and will continue to do so for a long time yet. Unfortunatly Michael’s enthusiastic spending habits when he was alive left him in a deal of debt, so it’s a relief he’s still earning.
Who bags the bucks? MJ’s kids, Prince, Paris and Blanket are the sole beneficiaries in his will.

Elvis Presley
Died: 16 August 1977
Age: 42
Cause: Heart attack
Earned since death: Dhs202 million

Most of Elvis’ revenue comes from Graceland and a Cirque du Soleil show in Las Vegas. CKX, the company that bagged the bulk of the Presley estate from Presley’s daughter Lisa Marie, is now owned by billionaire Leon Black’s Apollo Global Management.
Who bags the bucks? Daughter, Lisa Marie and her children are still living like kings. Get it? Sorry.

Kurt Cobain
Died: 5 April 1994
Age: 27
Cause: Suicide
Earned since death: Dhs184 million

Courtney Love sold a 25 per cent stake in Nirvana’s song catalogue to Primary Wave, a New York music publishing company. They continue to trade the band’s back catalogue, which has even featured on CSI: Miami. Poor Kurt must be turning in his grave.
Who bags the bucks? Kurt’s crazy widow Courtney Love and daughter Frances Bean.

Marilyn Monroe
Died: 5 August 1962
Age: 36
Cause: Overdose
Earned since death: Dhs99 million

The Authentic Brands Group bought the rights to Mazza’s estate and have since worked on upgrading her image. She’s already co-starred in an ad for J’Adore perfume with Charlize Theron. They’re now planning some Marilyn-themed cafés. Classy.
Who bags the bucks? Marilyn’s estate profits from any future ventures as she had no children.

Elizabeth Taylor
Died: 23 March 2011
Age: 79
Cause: Heart failure
Earned since death: Dhs44 million

A Christie’s auction of Liz’s amazing jewels, art and gowns netted big bucks last year for her estate, whose executors will now decide whether to cash-in further on Taylor’s image. Maybe some Liz-themed cafés might be nice? Cornish Cleo-pasty, anyone?
Who bags the bucks? Her estate and various charities, in particular her AIDS foundation.

Whitney Houston
Died:  11 February 2012
Age: 48
Cause: Accidental drowning
Earned since death: Too early to say

Jo Piazza, author of Celebrity, Inc: How Famous People Make Money told Hollywoodlife, “Whitney’s life rights will likely be sold for book and movie deals into the tens of millions of dollars.” Looks like her family will be fine financially, despite Whit’s demise.
Who bags the bucks? Whitney’s only daughter, Bobbi Kristina, will inherit any of Whit’s future earnings. She also has her own reality show.

Bettie Page
Died: 11 December 2008
Age: 85
Cause: Natural causes
Earned since death: Dhs22 million

The legendary pin-up girl’s classic style is hotter than ever. Katy Perry much? So her estate is cashing-in with a line of stores called Bettie Page Clothing, for ladies who want to emulate Page. Swing by and see for yourself next time you’re in Hollywood or Vegas.
Who bags the cash? Her estate owns Bettie’s image and back catalogue and therefore profits from any future earnings from her name and stores.

Steve McQueen
Died: 7 November 1980
Age: 50
Cause: Surgical complications
Earned since death: Dhs25 million

McQueen’s image has been licensed for countless collections for high-end brands like Dolce & Gabbana and Persol. Most recently he became the face of Tommy Hilfiger’s icon collection. His classic good looks and wild image seem set to keep on making cash.
Who bags the bucks? Steve’s estate takes home everything earned from his name and image – he didn’t have any family members listed in his will.

Jimi Hendrix
Died: 18 September 1970
Age: 27
Cause: Overdose
Earned since death: Dhs25 million

Jimi’s estate continues to cash in on his name and music through a continuous trickle of well-timed new releases of old material. Genius. From DVDs and CDs to downloads and branded treats, this is one legend who’s far from past his best. In cash terms anyway.
Who bags the bucks? Jimi’s estate earns big every time new material is released or a branding deal is signed. Who knew he was still so huge?